Friday, August 1, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

POSTED: Tuesday, June 10, 2014, 12:29 PM
Jennifer Choplin is now at Dock Street.

Didn't take long for Jennifer Choplin to land on her feet after parting company with South Philadelphia's Tap Room on 19th.

She starts Wednesday as chef at Dock Street Brewing Co. in West Philadelphia. Introduced by a mutual friend, both Choplin and co-owner Rosemarie Certo say it's a good fit.

'She is exactly what we were looking for," Certo said. Dock Street is a brew pub that happens to make great pizzas. Certo bristles at any "gastropub" label - feeling that lumps Dock Street with chains.

POSTED: Tuesday, June 10, 2014, 11:31 AM
Spamps, 16 E. 1st Ave., Conshohocken.

After nearly eight years, Mike Spampinato says Sunday, June 15 will be last call at Spamps, his Conshohocken bar-restaurant.

A note on Spamps' Facebook encourages customers to come by Sunday "to drink us dry and say goodbye."

Spampinato, a seasoned restaurateur before he opened Spamps (16 E. First Ave.), cited the economy and competition. "So many restauarants opened after I did. The market is saturated." He mentioned not only restaurants around the corner on Fayette Street, but the revival of Plymouth Meeting Mall and its chain restaurants, Redstone Grill, California Pizza Kitchen and P.F. Chang's.

POSTED: Tuesday, June 10, 2014, 12:05 AM


Michael Klein: Good afternoon and welcome to the restaurant chat.

I'm Mike Klein, the food guy here at, sitting (not literally) in Craig LaBan's usual 2 p.m. Tuesday spot. He's out for some family and work stuff.

POSTED: Monday, June 9, 2014, 7:58 PM

After nine years in Two Logan Square on 18th Street, Brian Harrington and Gary Cardi are saying goodbye to Public House.

July 5 will be the meet market's finale. The partners are taking the summer to renovate it into a City Tap House, intended to resemble their beer-centric bar/restaurant in the Radian at 40th and Walnut Streets. (They opened another CTH in D.C. in December.)

When City Tap House Logan Square opens in September, Morrissey Design will have redone the main bar area, spread out over two sections of the restaurant. Lunch and dinner will be served daily in the 170-seat dining room.

POSTED: Monday, June 9, 2014, 12:13 AM

Two yearling restaurants - one not yet open for business - won the 2014 Philly Burger Brawl, held amid blinding sunshine outside Xfinity Live in South Philadelphia on Sunday, June 8.

The much-lauded lamb burger from Avance - served at the bar at Justin Bogle's progressive-American restaurant at 1523 Walnut St. - was the judges' choice from the field of about 50 restaurants and chefs. Twisted Tail was second and Parc was third.

Blue Duck Sandwich Co. - which is now five to seven weeks from opening at 2859 Holme Ave. in Northeast Philadelphia - was the People's Choice winner. Kris Serviss and Joe Callahan opted for a blend of ground pork roll and chuck and topped their burger with fried quail egg, Cooper American and sriracha mayo. It was served on a potato roll. Serviss said the burger would be on Blue Duck's menu. The People's Choice runner-up was Prime Stache, followed by last year's winner, Fat Jack's.

Lines for water ice, beer, and food were long at the fourth annual Burger Brawl, in its debut at Xfinity Live. Sponsors and the 2,500 people helped raise a stunning $140,000 for Philadelphia schools, said creator/organizer Rob Wasserman, an owner of Rouge and 500 Degrees. (His restaurants provided burgers but did not compete.)

POSTED: Friday, June 6, 2014, 5:22 PM
Good Stuff Eatery, Philadelphia, June 6, 2014. (MICHAEL KLEIN /

Spike Mendelsohn - the D.C.-based Top Chef season 4 fan favorite - has set June 24 for the Philadelphia debut of Good Stuff Eatery, his burger-centric joint.

The first 100 guests in line at 108 S. 18th St. will have a chance to win a trip for two with Mendelsohn on a Celebrity Cruises ship sailing this summer.

The first 1,000 guests will take home prizes from the “Bowl of Good Stuff" by selecting items after they place their order. Prizes include passes for the Philly Food Tour, signed copies of the Good Stuff Cookbook, an opening Philly T-shirt, tickets to Philadelphia sporting events, a VIP Shake card to receive free seasonal milkshakes for an entire year, and more.

POSTED: Thursday, June 5, 2014, 12:55 PM

Dribbling out information one drop at a time, the organizers of Philadelphia's Diner en Blanc today released the date of the 2014 edition of the uppity pop-up picnic.

It will be the evening Thursday, Aug. 21 at a location that will be disclosed only moments before the event.

The organizers also said there will be at least 3,400 seats this time. Last year, 2,550 DEB attendees - all dressed in white, per tradition - toted tables, chairs and food to the JFK Boulevard Bridge over the Schuylkill.

POSTED: Thursday, June 5, 2014, 11:42 AM
Sugarhouse's Sugar Rush doughnut. (

National Doughnut Day - created in 1938 to honor the Doughnut Lassies who served doughnuts to soldiers during World War I - will be marked Friday, June 6.

Krispy Kreme will give away glazed doughnuts, as it does frequently. The local franchisees have collaborated with SugarHouse Casino on a doughnut they're calling the Sugar Rush. It's filled with strawberry jelly and covered in red sugar, with a vanilla and chocolate drizzle on top. Jack's Cafe at SugarHouse will hand out free ones from 1 to 2 p.m. June 6. (At 4 p.m., the casino will give away a dozen doughnuts for a year to a "hot seat" slot machine player - a promotion that its publicist calls "the treat of a lifetime.") Next week, the Sugar Rush doughnuts will be sold at Jack's as well as at the local Krispy Kreme shops in Havertown, Bensalem, Northeast Philadelphia and Collingswood. A word of warning: The red sugar will dye your fingers after two bites. 

Also worth noting: Dunkin’ Donuts locations will give away a doughnut with the purchase of any beverage, and Tastykake is running a contest on its Facebook page; comment on a Doughnut Day post and at 9 p.m. June 6, Tastykake will randomly select 100 winners to receive free doughnuts.

About this blog
Michael Klein, the editor/producer of, writes about the local restaurant scene in his Inquirer column "Table Talk." Have a question? Email it! See his Inquirer work here. Reach Michael at

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